Tier 2 Visas and the system
The UK’s points-based five-tier visa system is the main immigration route for migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to come to the UK to either work, study, invest or train. Applicants must pass a points-based assessment in order to be eligible for a visa in any one of the five-tier visa system. In work visa applications, points are generally awarded according to the applicant’s ability, experience and age. For the application to be successful, individuals must reach a points score more than the minimum threshold. However, the minimum number of points required varies for each tier.
Most migrants will require a Certificate of Sponsorship in order to be successful in their applications under the system. You can apply for a Sponsorship Licence depending on the nature of your business. Our Immigration team can advise on what Licence your business should be considering.
Important things to consider:
- The online application process can be difficult for some of our clients, therefore, our Solicitors can either complete it on the applicant’s behalf or provide the support required.
- The UKBA may visit your company before reaching a decision. It is essential that all employees, paperwork and records relating to your company are available on the date of inspection for which we would advise you ensure that this goes smoothly.
- Once a Sponsorship Licence has been granted a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) may be granted by the UKBA as per the employer’s request.
Immigration law frequently changes and it can be difficult to keep up to date. Complying with them can be a complex and time-consuming distraction from your business. At Kidwells we can assist and advise businesses on their workplace immigration needs.
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A Tier 2 Visa (general visa) is for individuals who are outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and have had a job offer in the UK. They often fill a gap in the labour force which someone already in the country cannot fill. This visa allows spouses, partners and any dependent children to also immigrate to the UK at the same time as the main Tier 2 applicant.
If you’re a business looking to hire highly skilled migrants with a Tier 2 General Visa then you must have a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence. This makes a business eligible to sponsor overseas workers on Tier 2 Visas. As an employer, you also need to apply for a certificate of sponsorship which is given to specific foreign workers and enabling them to apply for Tier 2 Visas.
As an employer, you should ensure your employee has a Tier 2 Visa. To have this visa your employee should;
- confirm your offer of employment if you’re a licensed UK employer (sponsor);
- have a valid certificate of sponsorship;
- score 70 points under the points-based system.
For a Tier 2 Visa you need to provide certain evidence. This includes;
- showing you’re suitable for the role you’re applying for;
- have a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your employer;
- a certain amount of savings for you and any dependants to cover maintenance;
- have an appropriate level of English for the prospective job. For example, the requirement tends to be at least CEFR level B1 or an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised as being equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s degree.